In the race to build an NFL stadium, San Diego now has what Carson and Inglewood have had for weeks: an artist's rendering of what a stadium could look like and some dollar figures on how it could be financed.
Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents Mission Valley, presented details Wednesday of his River Park Stadium Vision. He said he will present his proposal to the mayor's stadium advisory committee, which has set May 20 as a deadline to release its proposal for how to pay for a stadium in Mission Valley that could easily exceed $1 billion.
San Diego has been scrambling to catch up with planners in Inglewood and Carson and find a way to keep the Chargers from moving to the more lucrative Los Angeles market.
At a news conference outside Qualcomm Stadium, Sherman promised that his proposal would not require a tax increase – a promise similar to boosters in Inglewood eager for the St. Louis Rams to relocate and boosters in Carson who are equally eager for the Chargers and Oakland Raiders to share a stadium envisioned by the two teams.
But Sherman's idea had something different than the other two cities: a promise that voters will get to decide on the project, whatever its financing.
"The voters should have a say-so," Sherman said.
Sherman's proposal could include a replacement for Qualcomm Stadium, along with a 20-acre park beside the San Diego River and up to 3 million square feet of office space, 6,000 residential units and a 300-room hotel – all on the 166-acre site owned by the city.
Sherman was joined by former Chargers star Shawne Merriman, San Diego River Park Foundation executive director Rob Hutsel and Gary London, president of London Group Realty Advisors.
Land sales to developers could raise between $336 million and $593.9 million, Sherman said. Add to that sum, naming rights, an NFL loan, a Chargers contribution, and personal seat licenses, and the city would be well on its way to paying for a new stadium, Sherman said.
The average public contribution for 23 stadiums built since 1997 has been $248 million, Sherman said. The projected land sales in Mission Valley "fits squarely within the historical public contribution."